7 Time Management Hacks for Busy Marketers

Author: 
Dan Martin

Every day, marketers across all industries wake up ready to do their part in growing their brand’s reach. But the life of a marketing professional can be as hectic and challenging as it is rewarding. So what happens when the challenge gets to be overwhelming?

What does it mean when a full day at the office goes by and only a fraction of your tasks get done? It means there’s an underlying issue you must take care of. A time management issue.

The problem that poor time management creates is much bigger than the missed meeting with the sales team or the email that never got sent. Data shows that, for workers, 80% of their day is spent on tasks that have little to no importance.

As marketers, a day where only 20% of tasks completed have value can mean the decline of a brand’s success. Fortunately, time management is something that can be worked on and improved. Here’s where to start:

1. Figure out your priorities.

The Problem: You have a million things to do and no idea where to start. You might even make a to-do list and cross smaller, simpler, tasks off the list to help you feel more accomplished. But this won’t help you optimize the time you have.

The Solution: Making a list of the tasks you need to do is a good start. After making the list, however, you also need to determine the level of priority that each task holds for time management. This will help you maximize the time you have each day to complete the tasks that will make a larger impact to your brand.

2. Make a plan.

The Problem: You know what tasks you need to complete and which are more important than others. But there is no structure to your day, and no set plan for how to get your work done. This stops your day from running smoothly and productively, which leads to wasted time and fewer results.

The Solution: Once you list and prioritize your tasks, make a plan for how you’re going to complete them. This plan should consider the level of importance and urgency of your tasks. It should also be simple enough to execute right away. 

3. Set (realistic) goals.

The Problem: You followed the first two steps on this list but somehow, not everything on your list gets done. Seeing crossed off tasks is nice, but the few tasks left incomplete suck up all your motivation.

The Solution:  Set realistic expectations for yourself. It’s easy to plan a day of productivity where you do everything on your list. But life always happens. Some tasks take more time than others. Take a few minutes each day to decide which two or three tasks need to get done that day.

4. Pay attention to your behavior.

The Problem: Everything seems perfect, yet the work doesn’t get done. Or maybe half of it gets done. Your expectations are realistic and your motivation is high. Still, nothing happens. Why does it seem like the day flies by and little work is completed?

The Solution: Notice your behavior. Regardless of motivation, you might still find yourself procrastinating on your tasks. Keep in mind that the work that a marketer does impacts an entire business. Staying productive is therefore key to your and your brand’s success. Notice what causes you to get distracted and unfocused. This will bring you to the next step.

5. Modify your environment.

The Problem: You’ve developed the self-awareness to notice the things that interrupt your time and take away your focus. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to stop those distractors from manifesting.

The Solution: Modify your environment. Whether that means optimizing your physical environment or your digital environment, make a change. The office is noisy? Close the door. Don’t have a door? Invest in headphones. Make the necessary changes to create an environment where focus and productivity thrive.

6. Work in chunks.

The Problem: You have a manageable goal in mind and an environment that improves productivity. However, you can’t seem to focus for an extended period of time on a single task. 

The Solution: Start small but be intentional. Divide your day in chunks of time that are designated to each task you must complete. Start by dividing your time in 25 to 40 minute intervals where your sole focus is the task at hand. Slowly build your way up to larger time frames.

7. Take breaks.

The Problem: You’re your most productive self on a daily basis. You’re also incredibly exhausted. The marketing career you once loved is starting to drag you down. 

The Solution: Rest. People can only work for so long before they need to take a break. It might seem counter-intuitive but it is not a waste of time to rest. In fact, taking breaks helps you manage your time more efficiently because the short period of rest gives you the energy you need to continue working later on.

Poor time management skills in the workplace affects more than your performance. As a marketer, your brand counts on you to interpret customer needs correctly and increase their ROI. 

Your ability to do this suffers when time is wasted. To improve your time management skills and increase your productivity, follow the steps above and learn how you can optimize every minute of your day. 

Dan Martin has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007, building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems.